In April 2014, I found the Writer's Digest Poem-a-Day Challenge, and the experience invigorated this "hobby" of mine. Through daily poem posts, I inspired my students by being a role model in writing, not just reading, poetry. Personally, I created habits that prepared me for the most productive summer of revisions with my novel of historical fiction. That single month was a springboard for the last 18 months of my evolving into the writer I want to be.
Writer. Although I've always written, I am not a master of any genre or form. I don't have a single voice or style. I simply play with words, so whenever someone would refer to me as a "writer," I usually responded, "No, I just write." What a shame! Self-conscious, I never wanted to share my work with others, never wanted to let people into a world I enjoyed, afraid that someone's opinion or critique might prove me a writing fraud, thus destroying a whole part of who I am. What the PAD Challenge gave me was an opportunity to share my joy of writing with a community that embraced my moments of mediocrity as well as my moments of pure genius. I walked away with a handful of poems of which I was proud, another handful of poems I let sit and returned to for revision and contest entries, and another handful of poems that, well, I cringed at. But the cringing was okay. As a matter of fact, the comeback mode after cringing is what made me feel like a real writer.
So, that book of mine. Yeah. It had been a novel-in-progress for way too long, but all those drafts later brought me to the summer of '14, when the stars aligned, when I found a writing "place," when I was still high on the PAD challenge and started believing that I was a writer. July 2015 brought my previous summer's dedication to the proof stage, and now I'm meeting with readers before the REAL final draft is set for publication. It's coming together, and that's why I am appreciative of Writer's Digest once again.
For being the "poetry guy" at WD, Mr. Robert Brewer is doing it again for the novelist in me. By posing the "October Platform Challenge," I am tackling a new goal: to create a writer's platform. In all honesty, I don't know what this month will entail, but since accepting the fact that I am, indeed, a writer, and since the book WILL be published BEFORE another summer comes and goes, I guess this is the practical next step.
Today's task: create a blog if you don't have one, and write a blog post.
(And for anyone visiting from the WD Challenge, please subscribe on the "Home" page for your chance to win a copy of LINES-- when it's released!)